Cara was born in Oxford, Mississippi, grew up in Rome, Georgia, attended Princeton University in New Jersey, and now lives and works in New York City. She is the Producing Artistic Director of Prospect Theater Company, and since 1998 has worked to establish the organization as a vital presence in NYC’s theater community, becoming a leader in the field of new musical theater development.
Through Prospect, she has collaborated frequently with fellow founding company artist, composer / lyricist Peter Mills. Together with Mills she has created the new musicals Evergreen, Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge, Honor, The Rockae, The Pursuit of Persephone, The Taxi Cabaret, The Flood, Illyria, Lonely Rhymes, and The Alchemists. These works have been recognized by organizations such as ASCAP and the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation. The Taxi Cabaret is published by Samuel French; Illyria is published by Theatrical Rights Worldwide and has a cast recording, available from the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge has an original cast recording available on Amazon.com and has been selected for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's 2011 Festival of New Musicals.
Cara also collaborated with Susan DiLallo, Peter Mills, and Stephen Weiner on Iron Curtain, a new musical which received the 2006 Innovative Theatre Award for “Outstanding Production of a Musical,” and for which she also received an “Outstanding Director” IT Award nomination. She subsequently directed Iron Curtain in July 2008 at the O’Neill Theatre Center, and at the 2009 Festival of New Musicals for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.
Cara has also collaborated with many other emerging and established writers as well as working on classical and new plays. She has directed numerous other Prospect productions including I Married Wyatt Earp, Once Upon a Time in New Jersey, The Book of the Dun Cow, The House of Bernarda Alba, DIDO (& Aeneas), Danton’s Death, Twelfth Night, Everyman, and others. Outside of New York, Cara directed The Alchemists for the Village Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals (Issaquah, WA), Sacagawea at the Goodwill Theatre (Binghamton, NY), and touring productions of Julius Ceasar and The Nightingale for GMT Productions (Rome, GA). In NYC she has also worked with Oberon Theatre Ensemble (Othello), PASSAJ Productions (The White Widow), and the Gallery Players (The Most Happy Fella).
She was honored to receive the 2002 “Lucille Lortel Award” for Emerging Women Artists from the League of Professional Theatre Women, an organization which she served on the board and from 2009-2011 as the Vice-President of Communications. She was selected to receive 2004 and 2007 “New Directors / New Works” Grants from the Drama League, and was named as one of NYTheatre.com's 2006 "People of the Year."
Cara was educated at Princeton University, from which she graduated in 1996 with an A.B. in Anthropology and a Certificate in Theater, and in the M.F.A. Program for Directing at Brooklyn College, where she was named 2006 “Alumna of the Year.” She has worked on the administrative staffs at such notable NYC non-profits as Manhattan Theatre Club, American Ballet Theatre, and HERE Arts Center.
Cara also published a children’s book, A Stone Promise, which she wrote and illustrated (Landmark Editions Inc., 1991).